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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, December 9, 2022
HomeNewsArchives@Work: Sugar Mill Veterinary Center

@Work: Sugar Mill Veterinary Center

March 8, 2009 — Dr. Stacia Boswell combined her passion for animals with her concern for the environment in December when she opened the Sugar Mill Veterinary Center in Little Princess.
The center is an eco-friendly, full-service veterinary hospital. Boswell says her staff provides comprehensive medical, surgical and dental care for companion pets.
"This has been a dream since I moved here," she says. "There is a need and demand here for a different level in state-of-the-art vet care."
Boswell says she has always loved animals, adding "you have to love people, too." She has a soft, soothing voice and ready smile.
The veterinarian received her bachelor's degree in anthropology from Boston University, her master's in African Studies from Columbia University and her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Boswell says she is always learning, trying to stay as current as possible by reading and staying in touch with colleagues and keeping up with new medications, protocol, procedures and equipment.
Originally from New York, Boswell has lived on St. Croix since 2004. She worked as associate veterinarian at Island Animal Clinic from 2004 to 2006. After resigning from that position, she started a low-cost spay/neuter program with Anna Loizeaux at the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center. She eventually became the part-time staff veterinarian and part-time executive director at the shelter through October 2008.
Her new center has a solar system and a windmill to produce electricity. It also utilizes the latest technology in LED lighting and other energy-efficient methods to keep consumption at a low level, qualifying it as one of the greenest facilities in the Virgin Islands.
The large facility has the dogs and cats separated in different wards.
"It is nice to keep the dogs and cats completely apart from each other," says Anna Loizeaux, vet technician and behaviorist. "It just makes sense — so they don't get excited."
The center has a sound system with music for the animals' and owners' listening pleasure. Boswell thinks the cats like jazz.
The center offers a broad spectrum of diagnostic procedures through an in-house testing laboratory where staff members do blood work, urine analysis, thyroid screening and more.
The facility contains a well-stocked pharmacy with items such as flea and tick medication and supplements.
The center has a "Digital Vet" x-ray machine for instant viewing of x-rays that transfers the information to the patients files. The customer can have the records burned to a CD or emailed, allowing them to be almost paperless.
There are two exam rooms and a surgery suite. The center has EKG machines for monitoring patients during surgery. Also in-house is a closely supervised intensive=care unit with open cages and closed oxygenated and heated cages for critically ill animals.
An isolation unit is available with two cages when an animal needs to be completely isolated with contagious diseases, such as Parvo.
Boswell and Loizeaux are both dedicated and passionate about solving and ending pet overpopulation, too.
"Spay and neutering is the most effective weapon against pet overpopulation," Loizeaux says.
To end overpopulation, the two women have created the non-profit Sunshine Foundation, separate from the center, offering a low-cost spay and neuter program. The fee is $25 and the service is provided two days a week. They take donations, and need newspapers and plastic dog and cat crates. To make an appointment for the low-cost service, call 690-3335.
In the very near future, a dog-and-cat-boarding facility will be completed in the 1740s sugar mill on the property that was the Estate La Grande Princess Plantation. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, with spectacular sea views.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the way things are going," Boswell says. "I feel like the luckiest person in the world."
According to the center's website, Boswell lives with her husband, Rett, her six indoor cats, four dogs and her family of outdoor feral cats in north Grapetree Bay. For more information, visit sugarmillvetcenter.com.
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